Readers often ask us about the use and safety of Plavix after angioplasty. We turned for answers to Dr. Patrick O'Gara, a member of the Heart Letter editorial board, who helped write a clinical alert about Plavix for the American Heart Association.
Almost every medical advance raises issues that demand creative problem-solving. Take artery-opening angioplasty. It uses a tiny balloon to flatten a cholesterol-filled plaque, restoring blood flow through a narrowed or blocked coronary artery without open-heart surgery. A wire-mesh stent is usually left behind to hold open the artery. However, blood clots sometimes form on a stent. This can block blood flow through the artery, causing a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest. Taking a drug called clopidogrel (Plavix) with aspirin can fight this problem. But this combination, often called dual antiplatelet therapy, can be hard on the stomach, interacts with some drugs, and must be taken without interruption for a specified period.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.